Monday, October 5, 2009

Heights Bike Rally: Rain or Shine

We live in one fun neighborhood. We really do.

This past Sunday, I coaxed my neighbors and reluctant husband to join me for the Heights Bicycle Rally and Scavenger Hunt.

Although the event started at 7:30am, we made it over to the park at 18th and Studewood around 9:30am. I had pre-registered online earlier in the week for $15, but everyone else registered on site for $20.

The volunteers were incredibly friendly and organized. They handed us a map of the 20-mile route, our 21 clues, and a coupon for a free coffee at Onion Creek. Within ten minutes, we were on our way.

For the most part, the route was incredibly bike-friendly (despite the rain and occasionally intense wind!). We wound through The Heights and down around the bayou. We read clues like, "Who knew TV's Greg had a wife who cooked here?" and looked around for the answers along the path (Dharma Cafe). All of the clues followed the same order as the bike path, which made everything a littler easier.

Still, some clues were difficult: "This place is buzzing with activity on New Year's Eve, but forgotten the rest of the year." [The Resolution Center on T.C. Jester]

While others were easy: "If James Dean could Two Step, he'd be a regular here." [Rebel Honky Tonk]

It took us about five hours to wind our way through the various neighborhoods. I have to say that bike riding is a lot more conducive to spotting interesting sights than driving is. I saw new restaurants, organizations, and foliage that I had never noticed before.

After we dropped our answers off at the point of origin, we ran home for quick showers and a bite to eat at Lola (which is now open at Yale and 11th!). We returned to the park for the announcement of the winners. While we waited, we enjoyed free popcorn and drinks, as well as music from a local bluegrass band.

Although no one on my team came even close to winning (some of the answers were a little kooky, if you ask me), 75% of us walked away with door prizes. My neighbor and I both won bike shorts (no more butt pain!), and my husband won a bike toolkit and water bottle + cage. Other winners claimed gift certificates to local businesses (Collina's, Shade, Waldo's, etc.).

What a fun way to spend a Sunday! The event was well-organized, entertaining, and quirky all at once.

Hooray for the Heights!

P.S. I'll think I'll be using this map to take out-of-town guests on a bike tour of our area (although I'll probably try to avoid getting sopping wet next time...).

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